Tracking Your Physical Location Through Your Smartphone

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
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Messages
52,322
There is about to be a little more light shined on just how accessible you are to physically tracking through your smartphone. If your location data can be shared through a paid for service to law enforcement through the Securus Technologies company without a warrant, that is a bit scary. But what is crazier about this, is that if you use Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, who else are they selling or sharing this data with? I got a crisp $20 bill that says this rabbit hole is deep, deep, deep. Thanks scojer.

Wyden called on the carriers to immediately stop sharing data with any and all third parties that have misrepresented customer consent or abused their access to sensitive customer data like real-time location information.

Securus claims this location information is meant to identify and interdict planned importation of contraband into jails and prisons and coordinated escape attempts, and to respond to amber alerts. But that doesn’t explain why it should be getting access to the real-time location information of virtually anyone with a cellphone.
 

velusip

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
1,579
It sure wasn't advertised as a feature. I hope it's diffucult for a company to defend their actions with "you agreed to it" when the feature is subversively applied.
 

sfsuphysics

[H]F Junkie
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Jan 14, 2007
Messages
14,996
The service can find the whereabouts of almost any cellphone in the country within seconds. It does this by going through a system typically used by marketers and other companies to get location data from major cellphone carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, documents show.
So it's less about them tracking you, as it is building a profile that is "freely" available to anyone who wants. I'm less concerned about this as I'd rank it in the same category as police tracking someone by manner of a facebook update, and more concerned about it that the major carriers are offering this information out in the first place. I can't fault law enforcement for using what exists, this isn't about them illegally tapping a phone, or getting a rubber stamp judge to sign off on a warrant, but again using what is out there in the world that the owners of these services are allowing ANYONE to see.
 

Jailer

Limp Gawd
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Sep 4, 2002
Messages
237
It happens a lot more than you think. A LOT. Cops ping phones all the time without a warrant to find someone they are looking for.
 

termite

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 27, 2004
Messages
5,650
Pay hell. There are several sites that you can pull up location history using user names and Instagram, Facebook etc. For free, no warrant needed as it is is publicly accessible.
 

Advil

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
2,022
That Minority Report scene is already happening, just not quite the same way. They aren't showing YOU directed ads as you move around because they know it would be creepy.

What our protagonist experienced is already very close to what Facebook and Google are skimming from your phone data and location data as you move around. And more in some ways.
 

Wiffle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
292
At some point in the future, technology will be able to utilize light waves that bounced back off of planetary objects and see into the past.

In other words, people 1000 years from now will be able to see you whackin off when you thought you were being discreet.

If not humans, then cats will evolve and take over and invent a new internet where they watch hilarious videos of ancient humans doing funny human things.

So give up on this silly idea called "Privacy", because the cats are always watching you masturbate...
 

seanreisk

[H]ard|Gawd
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Aug 29, 2011
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So give up on this silly idea called "Privacy", because the cats are always watching you masturbate...

This is exactly why I don't own a cat.

------------------------------------

People are getting confused about 'privacy'. Knowing your location by cell triangulation is no different than knowing your location by seeing you. Verizon is allowed to know your location, just like Amtrak is allowed to know what train you're riding and AMC is allowed to know what movie you're seeing. Selling that data is supposedly 'blameless' because it is inferred that you could leave your phone behind, and that by choosing to carry your phone you assert your desire to be contacted. Furthermore, you can choose not to use their service.

Privacy comes into play when your personal information causes another party to interfere, demean, judge or otherwise control your actions, but most of these ideas are poorly protected in the marketplace, and in certain cases other people (such as your spouse or employer) have situational rights to forgo your right to 'privacy'.

tl;dr You don't have as much privacy as you think.


P.S. One of the first privacy cases argued before the Supreme Court was whether married couples had the right to buy condoms.
 
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Chebsy

Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
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523
Another breach of our privacy rights going on behind closed doors. Shame on the mobile companies !!
 

modi123

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
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Even when you pay for a product, you're also the product.
What do you think birth certificates are? The start of your life long product trail.

tinfoilhat.png
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
It happens a lot more than you think. A LOT. Cops ping phones all the time without a warrant to find someone they are looking for.

Local news had a story about that around a month ago. Nothing illegal about it.
 

steakman1971

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
2,433
An update to 911 is on the way that uses cellphones, wifi hotspots, and I believe cell phone triangulation to try to figure out where the call came from (which floor, what area, etc). Imagine making a call from a large factor or from the 30th floor of an office building. Right now, they might get the street address but not know where to go.
This is supposed to be rolling out in a few years I believe. Sounds like a few groups are way ahead of the game and not using it for emergency purposes.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,484
Wait, since when is this all that critically important? I thought most folks consider this stuff nothing but conspiracy theory nut case junk? Oh well...…… Reaping, sowing and all that stuff.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
253
At some point in the future, technology will be able to utilize light waves that bounced back off of planetary objects and see into the past.

In other words, people 1000 years from now will be able to see you whackin off when you thought you were being discreet.

If not humans, then cats will evolve and take over and invent a new internet where they watch hilarious videos of ancient humans doing funny human things.

So give up on this silly idea called "Privacy", because the cats are always watching you masturbate...

They won't see shit. My hairy palms will block all the naughty bits.

Besides, those wankers will be blind anyway.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,687
This is the real reason so many phones don't have removable batteries. (Tin foil hat theory #212.)
But a mindful criminal will avoid this or have his phone modified. Do anyone really think this is about crime? Petty impulsive crime at best.
 

SomeoneElse

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
1,940
With all of the improvements in facial recognition and what have you, you being tracked by your cell phone only comes into play if you are in a rural area. If you're in a city CCTV will have you spotted in a heart beat. The security cameras will pick people up quickly. I know they do tests in China and can nab someone once they come up on CCTV within a few minutes of a positive match. Privacy especially in the city is non-existent "big brother" is always watching.
That is not a tinfoil hat statement its factual. https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/13/china-cctv-bbc-reporter/
 
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